Markets & Finance

Dow Jones Says It Will Meet with News Corp.


Wal-Mart sets a $15 billion stock buyback, and more stocks in the news Friday

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchDow Jones & Co. (DJ) heads higher on news the Bancroft family will meet with News Corp. (NWS) to discuss its $5 billion bid. Dow Jones says the "mission of Dow Jones may be better accomplished in combination or collaboration with another organization, which may include News Corp."

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) sets a $15 billion stock buyback. The retailer says it plans to moderate growth of its U.S. supercenters.

CKX Inc. (CKXE) soars on news that Chairman & CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman says he and Simon Fuller, CEO of CKXE's 19 Entertainment Ltd. unit, have offered to buy all outstanding CKXE shares for $13.75 per share cash.

Dell (DELL) shares rise after the PC maker reports preliminary first-quarter operating income of $947 million and earnings per share of $0.34, on revenue of $14.6 billion. The company said that in its second quarter, operating margins will be under pressure sequentially in the seasonally slower quarter with elevated operating expenses and additional costs related to the ongoing investigations into its accounting. It will also cut 10% of its workforce, or about 8,800 jobs, over the next year to cut costs. S&P keeps hold, Goldman raises estimates, target, and Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley reportedly downgrade the stock.

Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) posts $0.49 second-quarter loss (including charges), vs. $1.55 EPS a year ago, on 29% lower revenue. It says due to increased uncertainty of housing market conditions, it withdraws estimates for fiscal year 2007.

J. Crew Group (JCG) rises after the apparel retailer posts $0.39, vs. $0.12 a year ago, first-quarter EPS on 8% higher same-store sales (after realignment) and 24% higher total revenue. It says long-term annual financial targets include same-store sales growth in the mid single-digits and EPS growth of 20%+.

Everlast Worldwide (EVST) agrees to be acquired by The Hidary Group for $26.50 per share in cash.

Labopharm (DDSS) falls after it says it has received a second approvable letter from the FDA stating the company has not demonstrated the efficacy of its once-daily formulation of tramadol; statistical methods didn't adequately address missing data from drop-outs.

CRA International (CRAI) drops on news it sees lower-than-expected $0.11 second-quarter EPS on $88 million in revenue. It notes litigation-related revenues were hurt by the settlement of certain large litigation projects, slowdown in others, and delays in initiation of new litigation cases.

Activision (ATVI) posts $0.05 fourth-quarter GAAP loss, vs. $0.03 loss a year ago, despite a 66% revenue rise. It ups fiscal year 2008 revenue outlook to $1.8 billion. It sees $0.45 fiscal year 2008 EPS, including the impact of equity-based compensation expense. S&P reiterates hold.

Omnivision Technology (OVTI) posts $0.03 fourth-quarter loss, vs. $0.39 EPS a year ago, on a 9.6% revenue decline. It expects a first-quarter revenue increase of 30%-38% from last quarter to $155-$165 million. Merriman Curhan upgrades to buy from neutral.


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